US 7185796 B2
A baton scabbard for stowing various length batons enables insertion into and removal of a baton from the scabbard through lateral movement of the baton. The scabbard includes a generally C-shaped housing that supports a pair of laterally spaced snap-action latching mechanisms mutually cooperable in response to entry of a baton to effect a snap-action retention of the baton within the housing. A belt or strap attachment is pivotally connected to the housing for attaching the scabbard to a user's belt and permits the housing and a baton held therein to be selectively oriented relative to the user irrespective of the length of the baton.
1. A scabbard comprising:
a carrier having a generally C-shaped cross section, a rear wall and top and bottom, the top and bottom being open such that different length batons can be placed therein;
an over-center latching mechanism within the carrier, comprising two sets of roller assemblies, each roller assembly having a front roller and a rear roller pivoted together about a pivotal axis such that as a baton is inserted into the scabbard, the two front rollers pivot apart, and as the baton is pushed further against the rear rollers, the baton is snapped into the scabbard and the front rollers are pivoted together to hold the baton in place;
the over-center latching mechanism being self-adjustable such that different diameter pole-shaped devices can be placed within the scabbard; and
said carrier including a friction member releasably attached to the rear wall such that when a baton is placed into the scabbard the friction member and baton are in touching relation.
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The present invention relates generally to baton carriers or scabbards for releasably supporting expandable batons, generally at the waist level of a user. More particularly, the present invention relates to a scabbard for releasably supporting a fixed length or expandable baton, in either a retracted or extended position, at the waist level of a user such that the baton may be readily inserted into and released from the scabbard by lateral movement of the baton relative to the scabbard, and may be angularly oriented relative to the user's torso to enable selective positioning of the baton for access, and to enable the user to comfortably stand, squat, or sit without having to further manipulate the scabbard or baton.
Batons are well known as intermediate force weapons that provide a tactical, yet generally non-lethal means for use by law enforcement and security personnel to maintain order. When not in use, batons may be stowed in a variety of different types of carriers or holsters, typically termed scabbards, which are adapted for mounting on a belt or strap disposed about the waist of the user. Modem batons are typically lightweight and include expandable high strength telescoping tubular sections that when retracted into a handle can be conveniently carried in a belt supported scabbard for convenient access by the user. Known baton scabbards for supporting an expandable baton on the user's belt or on a separate strap disposed about the user's waist generally do not permit the baton to remain in a comfortable orientation on the waist when the officer is seated. Further, baton scabbards are known that enable a baton to be released from the scabbard by lateral movement of the baton relative to the scabbards, but generally do not permit a baton to be readily inserted into the scabbard through movement of the baton in a lateral direction relative to the scabbard.
Generally, security baton scabbards are designed so that a stowed baton cannot be inadvertently released from the scabbard or be readily seized from the scabbard by an adversary. Prior baton sheaths are operative to positively secure the baton within the scabbard, while at the same time providing for relatively quick release of the baton for authorized use. When an expandable baton is fully extended, it is usually releasably retained in the extended position and can be retracted by sharply striking the extended end of the baton with an axial blow. Batons come in various lengths, and a baton scabbard should preferably be capable of positively retaining or stowing batons of various lengths having a fixed diameter.
Known baton carriers or scabbards are generally designed to stow an expandable type baton when fully retracted and inserted into the scabbard. When stowed in the scabbard, the longitudinal axis of the retracted baton is generally disposed in a vertical orientation substantially perpendicular to the waistline of the user and parallel to the user's leg when the user is standing. The baton axis is generally disposed at approximately a 90 degree angle to the user's leg when the user is seated. A stowed retracted baton generally permits unrestricted movement by the wearer. However, in certain applications, such as when a subject is not fully under control, and the like, it may be preferred or occasionally necessary to at least temporarily stow the baton in its expanded or extended position. Also, on occasion it may be impractical to collapse the baton, particularly where a hard surface is not available for striking the outermost end of the extended sections with an axial blow, such as when the user is on a soft grassy area. Under these circumstances, a scabbard that enables a baton to be readily inserted and withdrawn from the scabbard through lateral movement of the baton when in either an expanded or retracted condition would significantly enhance the utility of the scabbard.
While baton scabbards are generally used to stow a baton, occasions arise when it is convenient for a law enforcement or security office to use a scabbard to support other security devices useful in assisting the officer in fulfilling his or her duties. For example, it is sometimes necessary for law enforcement and security officers to use a baton-flashlight combination, such as the ASP TRIAD® flashlight manufactured by Armament Systems and Procedures, Inc., which generally have cylindrical handles or battery receiving barrels. Such combination baton-flashlights are generally held in one hand while an officer investigates a darkened area, and the barrel of the flashlight is generally disposed either parallel to the ground surface or at an angle no greater than approximately 45 degrees below or above horizontal. A scabbard capable of releasably supporting a combination baton-flashlight at various angles and that enables attachment to and release from the scabbard by lateral movement relative to the scabbard, would leave both hands of the user free for other tasks.
In accordance with the present invention, a baton scabbard and associated belt or strap attachment clip are provided that permit the scabbard to be worn on the user's waist and enable a baton to be readily inserted into and released from the scabbard through lateral movement of the baton relative to the scabbard. The baton can be stowed in either an expanded (open) or closed configuration, and the belt clip permits the baton, in either its expanded or closed configuration, to be oriented for maximum comfort and accessibility while the wearer is standing, seated or disposed in any other position.
In a preferred embodiment, the scabbard includes a generally C-shaped housing that defines a C-shaped recess and supports at least one over-center snap-action latching mechanism, and preferably a pair of mutually cooperable latching mechanisms, such that a baton may be snapped into and released from the scabbard by lateral movement of the baton relative to the recess, and held in place against a stop surface in the form of a back wall of the recess or a rear friction pad by the latching mechanisms. The generally C-shaped recess is open at its top and bottom such that a baton of substantially any length can be readily stowed in the scabbard.
The scabbard preferably includes a pair of laterally opposed snap-action latching mechanisms, each of which includes parallel front and rear crowned rollers rotatably supported in a yoke assembly for snap-action pivotal movement. The yoke assemblies are supported by the housing on laterally opposite sides of the C-shaped recess and are pivotal about parallel pivot axes such that the front and rear rollers are laterally spaced as pairs of parallel front and rear rollers, respectively. The corresponding pairs of front and rear rollers are positioned to enable a baton to be inserted laterally between the two front rollers and urged against the rear pair of laterally spaced rollers so that the rollers and yoke assemblies undergo a snap-action pivotal movement about their respective pivot axes as the baton progressively enters the scabbard. In this manner, the laterally opposed rollers undergo a snap-action engagement with the baton so that the baton is gripped between the laterally opposed front and rear pairs of rollers and urged against the recess back wall or friction pad to thereby releasably retain the baton in place within the scabbard until withdrawn in a reverse direction.
The scabbard belt or strap attachment clip is pivotally connected to the scabbard C-shaped housing so as to enable the housing and a stowed baton to be attached to a belt or strap disposed about the user's waist and selectively angularly oriented relative to the belt or strap. A user can thus orient a baton or other elongated device stowed in the scabbard to better facilitate comfortable sitting, stooping or standing by the user. This leaves the user's hands free for other tasks.
Further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals designate like elements throughout the several views.
While the present invention is susceptible of embodiments in various forms, there is shown in the drawings a presently preferred embodiment that is described in greater detail hereafter. It should be understood that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the present invention, and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiment illustrated and described. It should be further understood that the title of this section of this application (“Detailed Description”) relates to a requirement of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and should not be found to limit the subject matter disclosed herein.
Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to
The housing 16 is shown having a friction pad 23 in its interior wall 16 b. Friction pad 23 may be, for example, a flexible sheet or insert providing a contact surface that a baton 24 (
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In the assembly of housing 16, however, it will be noted that a spring insert 40 and the friction pad 23 are first inserted into their respective location in housing 16. As noted above, friction pad 23 can be inserted against interior connecting wall 16 c and held in a desirable location for contact with baton 24. The spring insert 40 can be inserted into a recess 40 a of the bottom case housing 39 b, as well as into a cooperating recess in the top case housing 39 a. Because the spring insert is received within corresponding recesses 40 a in both the top and bottom case housings 39 a, 39 b, the case housings are brought into alignment with each other. The top case housing 39 a and bottom case housing 39 b can then be held together with one or more fasteners 41, such as the cooperating male and/or female elongated screws or bolts, as shown.
The spring insert 40 in the present embodiment may provide the bias that allows roller assemblies 18, 20 to act as snap-action retaining members. Also, because the scabbard 10 is made of material that has some degree of flexibility (e.g., a plastic material, as opposed to rigid solid metal), such material in conjunction with the spring insert 40 permits the “arms” 16 a of the C-shaped housing 16 to reciprocally flex in the direction shown by reference arrow 94 (
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Similar to the raised radii 48 for the circular member 44 of
The connection of baton holder 12 and belt attachment 14 together, in the manner described above, permits the inter-meshing of raised radii 48 and recessed radii 58 when the circular member 44 is assembled with the locking wheel 50. This permits the baton holder 12 can be rotated to a desirable integral angle relative to belt attachment 14. The number of integral angular “stops” is governed by the number of radii 48 and 58 distributed about the circular member 44 and locking wheel 50, respectively, and the angular spacing therebetween. The preferred shapes of raised radii 48 and the recessed radii 58 permit interlocking of circular member 44 and the locking wheel 50 such that a desired amount of rotational force or pressure causes the circular member 44 to rotate relative to the locking wheel 50 (which is preferably fixed in position via the user's belt that extends through the belt clip 14). The force sufficient to cause rotation of the circular member 44 relative to the locking wheel 50, and hence rotation of the baton holder 12, necessarily forces the circular member slightly apart from the locking wheel 50 along an axial axis 59 (
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In the operation of the scabbard 10, an officer brings his or her baton 24 to the generally C-shaped recess opening 17 of the scabbard 10 and pushes it laterally into the opening. Initially, the leading edges of the forward rollers 18 a, 20 a of the roller assemblies 18, 20 contacts the circumference of the baton, as shown in
Next, as the baton is further inserted into the opening 17, the roller assemblies 18, 20 further pivot until both the forward rollers 18 a, 20 a and rear rollers 18 b, 20 b contact the baton 24 and are approximately equidistant from the centerline diameter 96 of the baton 24, as shown in
As the baton 24 is urged further back, the baton 24 eventually engages friction pad 23, or if not installed, the interior wall 16 b of the housing. Note that the friction pad 23 may assist in holding the baton 24 in a vertical position relative to the baton holder 12 without slipping downward. Further, the material from which the rollers are formed may also assist in gripping the baton.
In this fully engaged position, the roller assemblies 18, 20 pivot the opposite way about their pivotal axes 66 (
Although an illustrative embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it is to be understood that various modifications and substitutions may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the novel spirit and scope of the invention.